Shawn J. Rabin, Ashley Simonsen, SUSMAN GODFREY LLP, for Tradewinds Airlines, Inc.
Ellen R. Werther, Bruce J. Ressler, RESSLER & RESSLER, for Coreolis holdings, Inc. and Tradewinds Holdings, Inc.
Raymond Fitzgerald, David J. McCarthy, BUTLER, FITZGERALD, FIVESON & McCARTHY, P.C., Martin B. Klotz, WILLKIE FARR & GALLAGHER LLP, for George Soros.
Kristin T. Roy, MORRISON COHEN LLP, Dustin F. Hecker, POSTERNAK BLANKSTEIN & LUND LLP., for Purnendu Chatterjee.
OPINION AND ORDER
JOHN F. KEENAN, District Judge.
Plaintiffs TradeWinds Airlines, Inc. ("TradeWinds Airlines"), Coreolis Holdings, Inc. ("Coreolis"), and TradeWinds Holdings, Inc. ("TradeWinds Holdings") (collectively, "the TradeWinds Group" or "Plaintiffs") hold an unsatisfied default judgment against C-S Aviation Services ("C-S Aviation"). Plaintiffs brought the instant actions to pierce the corporate veil of C-S Aviation and recover from the company's alleged alter egos, Defendants George Soros and Purnendu Chatterjee.
Before the Court is Plaintiffs' motion to strike Defendants' second, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, twentieth, and twenty-first affirmative defenses. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiffs' motion is granted in part and denied in part.
On November 14, 2003, the TradeWinds Group was sued in North Carolina Superior Court (the "North Carolina Action") by Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas ("Deutsche Bank"), which is not a party to the instant litigation. See Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Ams. v. TradeWinds Airlines, Inc., No. 03 CVS 12215, 2009 WL 1154861, ¶¶ 5-6 ( N.C. Super. Ct. Apr. 29, 2009). In January 2004, the TradeWinds Group filed a third-party complaint against C-S Aviation and others, claiming breach of contract on a series of aircraft leases, as well as fraudulent inducement and unfair and deceptive trade practices associated with those leases. See id. ¶ 6. The TradeWinds Group ultimately settled with Deutsche Bank, and the North Carolina court dismissed all of the remaining claims, except those against C-S Aviation. See id. ¶ 8.
C-S Aviation never filed an answer, and the North Carolina court entered default against C-S Aviation in August 2004. See id. ¶ 7. Nearly four years later, in April 2008, TradeWinds Airlines (acting alone) moved for entry of default judgment against C-S Aviation. See id. ¶ 11. The North Carolina court held a hearing on the motion, which C-S Aviation did not attend. See id. ¶ 12. The court entered the default judgment on June 27, 2008, see id., and TradeWinds Airlines promptly filed an action before this Court to pierce C-S Aviation's corporate veil and hold Soros and Chatterjee personally liable for the default judgment (the "2008 Action").
On August 27, 2008, C-S Aviation moved before the North Carolina court to set aside the entry of default and the default judgment. See id. ¶ 16. TradeWinds Holdings and Coreolis initially moved to be added to the default judgment, but later withdrew that motion and instead moved for default judgment. See id. ¶¶ 17, 19-20. Meanwhile, this Court granted Defendants' request for a stay of the 2008 Action pending resolution of the North Carolina Action. TradeWinds Airlines, Inc. v. Soros, No. 08 Civ. 5901 , 2009 WL 435298, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 23, 2009).
The North Carolina court set aside the default judgment but did not disturb the entry of default. (Simonsen Decl. Ex. 2, ¶ 4.) The parties were allowed to conduct discovery on damages, and the court held a six-day hearing on damages in May 2010. ( Id. ¶¶ 4-5.) No corporate representative of C-S Aviation testified. ( Id. ¶ 5) On July 26, 2010, the court ordered judgment for TradeWinds Holdings and Coreolis in the amount of $11, 544, 000.00, and judgment for TradeWinds Airlines in the amount of $16, 111, 403.00, with both amounts subject to trebling and interest. ( Id. ¶ 14.)
Three months later, on October 28, 2010, Coreolis and TradeWinds Holdings filed their own action before this Court to pierce C-S Aviation's corporate veil to reach Soros and Chatterjee (the "2010 Action"). At Defendants' request, the 2010 Action was also stayed, pending appeals in the North Carolina Action. TradeWinds Airlines, Inc. v. Soros, Nos. 08 Civ. 5901 , 10 Civ. 8175, 2011 WL 309636, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 1, 2011).
A panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the default judgment. TradeWinds Airlines, Inc. v. C-S Aviation Servs. , 733 S.E.2d 162 ( N.C. Ct. App. 2012). The North Carolina Supreme Court denied review, rendering the judgment final on June 12, 2013. TradeWinds Airlines, Inc. v. C-S Aviation Servs. , 743 S.E.2d 189 ( N.C. 2013). This Court lifted the stays of the 2008 ...